Second Senate Committee Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana in North Carolina

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina has been passed by its second Senate committee.

The Senate Finance Committee today voted in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana, just a day after the Senate Judiciary Committee made the same move.

Under the proposed law, which was introduced by Senator Bill Rabon,  patients with a “debilitating medical condition” such as cancer, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and post-traumatic stress disorder would be allowed to possess and consume medical marijuana and marijuana products if they receive a recommendation from a licensed physician, who would need to reevaluate patients’ medical marijuana status annually.

The legislation would allow 10 medical marijuana suppliers to control the cultivation and sale of cannabis, with each allowed to operate up to eight dispensaries. A Compassionate Use Advisory Board would be established to consider adding new conditions that would qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient. The measure would also establish a Medical Cannabis Production Commission to regulate and oversee marijuana supplies.

“The intent of this bill is to only make changes to existing state law that are necessary to protect patients and their doctors from criminal and civil penalties, and would not intend to change criminal and civil law for use of non-medical marijuana,” said Rabon.

The measure will now move towards a vote by the full Senate.